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Grant number: FB-12500-75

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Roger J. Porter
Reed College (Portland, OR 97202-8199)

Style in American Autobiography

The study would involve an examination of style in American autobiography. If American novelists, as Richard Poirier argues, create environments of freedom by the power of their words, the same impulse is present among autobiographers, who herald their distinctness by their ability to make the self into an artifact or force that counters the dominant strains of the culture. Making the self become the world is an act of extravagance, one impulse common to American autobiographers. Emerson is a starting point in a tradition that continues with Whitman, Twain, Adams, Edward Dahlberg. Abbie Hoffman and Mailer. Focus of study will be on the way style is expressed in language that embodies one's consciousness.

Project fields:
American Literature

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$14,000 (approved)
$14,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/1975 – 8/31/1976